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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • melloumellou Posts: 5
    Update to my update.....

    They said the car is ready to be picked up...they replaced ONE coil, not all of them. That bothers me. Shouldn't they have replaced them ALL?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Yep, it's cosmolene. They inject it into the doors, and apply it on surfaces that might be subject to corrosion during shipping. Some cars seem to have this problem with seepage more than others. About the only thing I can suggest around the door sills is to use a paper towel regularly until the stuff stops showing up, which it will eventually do. The stuff from under the car is being heated by the exhaust system, so the ambient air temp has little to do with how much you see.
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    I had the same problem on an '02 Jetta. I think some cars get too much of the stuff sprayed on. Mine was in the passanger door, and it seeped everytime I parked with that door facing the sun. Just like the interior heats up in the sun, the temperature within the door panels must get fairly hot (it was a black car which probably did not help).

    I just kept cleaning it up. It did not stop for a year, so they must have really oversprayed! I finally traded it for other reasons, but this was annoying.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Good question!! Did you ask you dealer the same question? It does sound odd, but not unheard of for the coils to go bad. As you probably know, the Coils in models with the 1.8t engine were recalled a couple of years ago. But, it was my understanding, that VW switched suppliers and all was right with the world with the Coils. I think Passat's have 4 coils in the 4cyl engine, so I would ask the service manager why only 1 was replaced. If all 4 are the incorrect one's then all need to be replaced at once and not as they fail!!!
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    The VW specs for Automatic transmission fluid is
    ATF 7176+4. However, the only places you will find this is either at the dealership or online.

    Here's a site where it's referenced:

    AMSOIL is an excellent synthetic transmission fluid that exceeds VW's standards. Here's a couple of links to AMSOIL related sites: amsoil-automatic-transmission-fluid.htm
  • melloumellou Posts: 5
    We picked up the car last night, although we still have our Jetta which we will keep until the weekend (we're turning in the leased 2000 1.8T Jetta for this new leased Passat). The car ran great. We drove it for hours and I drove it this morning to work.

    Service guy said that only one coil was bad and "they only got authorization from VW to replace ONE coil and no more...."
  • vicki2vicki2 Posts: 2
    I got an '01 Passat on Feb. 12th. two weeks later there was a pinkish/red leak under it that evaporated. took it in to the dealer, they couldn't find any leaks and all fluids were fine. two days later, same fluid leaked under it, took it in, same story-- they can't find anything and the fluid levels are fine. it's done this same leak every couple of days for a month. I finally caught enough of it to get the mechanic to identify is as coolant, but the levels are still all at "max" and they can't find where it's leaking from. it only does it after it sits OVER 12 hours. 8-9 hours at work it has never leaked. it's always over 12 hours, then it lets loose! all levels are still at max, the car has been at the dealer for almost three days this time and they say it isn't leaking a bit for them.
    any ideas of where this phantom leak is coming from and how it is leaking this much if none of the fluid levels are dropping? it's making me -- and the mechanic-- nutz!
  • vw2kvw2k Posts: 2
    Thanks for your response. I did do some shopping around and got the dealer to the following prices:

    Serpentine Belt- $95
    + 10 % off on all the parts and labor including the 80K miles service.

    Brakes - I did not get them done from the dealer. Other shops are offering $180-190 (Probably the dealer will replace the rotors??) and these other shops will just turn them???
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    vw2k - Glad to hear you got a reasonably price on the serpentine belt (at least for a dealership). Regarding the brakes, VW said that VW factory brakes have to be replaced, including rotors. They cannot be turned (at least on 1999 Passats), but I think that's also true for later models.

    The guy who does the service on my Passats put different rotors on last time that he said would (a) wear better, (b) aid in not generating so much brake dust(along with the pads he got as well), and (c) not have to be replaced with each brake job. He said they could be turned at least once and maybe twice.

    So far, I've not had to have the brakes re-done on the 1999, and it's been two years, so that's pretty good. Plus, brake dust is WAAAAY down on the '99 Passat. Our 2003 Passat still gets TONS of brake dust - must clean the wheels weekly to keep on top of it.

    I would guess that if a shop is pricing the brakes at less than $200 that they're not replacing the rotors. Even with after market rotors, my brake job still ran in the $500 range, if I recall correctly...

    Hope this helps.
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    Hello - Today my wife discovered that this small plastic/rubber gasket at the base of the antenna on her 1999 Passat sedan is split and was coming off.

    I just looked online to see if that part can be purchased by itself, but it looks like you have to purchase the entire mast and base and replace the unit.

    That would mean removing the headliner to get access to the nut that hold the unit in and connect the cable.

    Has anyone on this board had an antenna replaced at the dealership before? If so, how much? I found one post from 2001 where a guy said the dealership quoted him $600 for a new antenna. Yikes! Part of me is ready to put the split gasket back on and try some silicone to seal it rather than pay $600 to replace it.

    I saw one post where someone mentioned going to a stereo shop to get them to replace the antenna. That's an idea I might check into.

    I will stop by the VW parts store tomorrow to see if they do, in fact, sell just the gasket and if there's a way to replace it without removing the mast base. We'll see. But in the meantime, any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

  • japherjapher Posts: 10
    I bought a 2004 Passat with a 1.8L engine last October. Six months and 5000 miles have now gone by and its time for the first oil change, which I prefer to do myself. Unfortuately, I can't find the oil drain plug. I've crawled around below the engine and can't find anything that looks like an oil drain plug. I hope I don't have to move the plastic fairing that covers the bottom of the engine.

    I'd apprecate some guidance.
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    Japher - Yup - you have to remove the plastic skid plate at the bottom of the engine. It's not TOO hard. There are two plastic screws located on the inside of each front wheel well. One half turn unlocks those and they pop out.

    Then there are 2 screws located under the front bumper along with a nut (11mm?) at the center of the front bumper. Then at the back of the skid plate are three screws, one on each end and one in the middle. I think a half turn removes each of those.

    The skid plate will then drop down but shouldn't come off entirely. Once it drops, you should see the oil pan and the drain plug.

    Also, to get to the oil filter, you'll need to remove the coolant reservoir. You don't need to disconnect it - just unscrew the screws and move it to the side to access the oil filter.

    And I am sure others will reiterate this: Make sure you use a VW oil filter (should be a rather large one) and use 5w40 or 0w40 motor oil. 5w40 is available at NAPA and 0w40 at various places (I know Advance Auto Parts carries it).

    I know when you remove the filter, a lot of oil comes out, so be prepared to soak it up with something. You'll see what I mean when you get it off.

    Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions.
  • japherjapher Posts: 10
    Thank you very much Bronsonb. It wasn't much fun, but I completed the job.

    I used 5W30 oil, which my owner's manual lists as an alternative. Unfortunately I did not have a VW filter. I used a penzoil filter I bought earlier today. It isn't quite as big, but it does fit,> I won't make a habit of using aftermarket filters and hope this one will be okay until the next change.

    Thanks again.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    If you're a serious do-it-yourselfer, you should invest in a Top-Sider, or similar device, to pull the oil out through the dipstick tube and not use the drain plug at all. These are very effective and not all that expensive these days - do a Google search and you'll see plenty of alternatives.

    Also, be VERY careful about the oil you use, and keep meticulous records. VW loves to deny engine claims if you have deviated even in the slightest way from their maintenance recommendations. For that reason alone, I would be very wary of using a non-OEM filter in this car. Make sure the oil you use meets precisely the standard VW states in the manual for this engine.
  • Greetings
    My question is how do I enter the radio code. I have my husband's 1999 v6 Passat, I have the radio code but do not have the owners manual. Can someone tell me how to enter the code or where to find the directions of line. Thank you for your patience as I did not discuss oil changing issues but I saw you were online earlier today and seemed knowledgeable. Sincerely, Maggie
    ps the tow truck driver left the lights on, the battery went dead when it was towed to the mechanic for new cv joints. It will be a great surprise for him if I can get this fixed today.
  • bill1975bill1975 Posts: 19
    Hello. I've been monitoring this forum quite a bit and have been on some other VW forums as well. I'm going to be purchasing a "new used" car soon. And have it down to a Passat and Mazda 6. I'm a little confused as it seems people either love and have few, if any, problems with the car, or they hate it, and its a total piece of junk. My impression is: 1) Internet forums usually are home to many people who want to gripe or have problems, so I'm not getting a balanced view :) 2) The Passat requires more vigilent maintenance, 3) If I can find one that has used only synthetic oil and has no ignition coil issues, I should be ok. 4) Some early models had control arm issues. Was this fixed? If so what year? 5) VW has fixed things bit by bit since the introduction of the B5 - I've noticed most complaints are on models through 2002. I've heard few complaints about 2003 - 2005 models. Anyone know specifically what has been fixed? It seems the last few years (03-05) have been better but VW got such a black eye from the oil sludge and coil issues, that any improvements have gone unnoticed.

    So thats what my impression has been. I would appreciate any input. I really love the car and was shocked to hear so many bad things about it. It seems to be more reliable than most VW cars. I also don't mind doing some of my own basic maintenance so hopefully that will prevent some dealership horror stories.

    Thanks for your help!
  • dasatodasato Posts: 2
    I'm not a mechanic but I would. I'd suggest you ask th dealer

    anyone out there know Passat's? I have a 2001 and Have a OBD code of P0171 "Engine Too Lean". I've replaced the suction value and cleaned the air passage to the turbo (4cylinder). Car only has 35k on it and I'm frustrated that this this is occuring w/ such a new car.


  • dasatodasato Posts: 2
    Hello there. Yea, you are probably right about people and their responses. Most people only voice concerns not positives. I think this is human nature (right or wrong). I own a 2001 Passat. I would say from a looks standpt it is good but from an engineering one prone to require maintenance. I'm dealing w/ an emissions control issue w/ my Passat w/ only 35k miles. In addition to that there was valve cover leak that needed to be replaced due to leaking oil, cup holder issues, etc... Personally I think Honda's and Toyota's are the most reliable out there. Nutshell, I'll never buy a VW again. Can't say much about the Mazda but I haven't heard near the issues as VW.

    Good luck!

  • cammlcamml Posts: 3
    Informed ambivalence is probably a pretty reasonable response.

    After a year, my 2004 AWD manual 4 cylinder wagon is just a pleasure to drive. After my last two Hondas, there was a short adjustment to the feel of the car, but the interior is beautiful and the sense of solidity is very gratifying. I love this part of it.

    The downside is little maintenance details. A couple of plastic strips on the roof needed gluing down (under warranty) and the emissions system protested briefly during the coldest part of early Feb. after sitting out a week at night (new programming for the ECU probably fixed it, warranty again, happy since).

    The other issues (oil sludge, only in 4 cylinder engines without synthetic; control arms; coil packs) are likely to be past history from 2003 on.

    What will follow is never certain, but the car is just fun to have if you are mechanically informed and patient. Sorry to be cliched, but owning VWs will in my opinion remain thus until European car makers prove a new emphasis on reliability.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Just Curious: Was the 5W30 oil you used Synthetic? VW sent a letter out to all 1.8t engine owners giving the oils that need to be used in order for the sludge issue to be covered under their extended warranty. According to the list. The only 5W30 synthetic oils vw recommends:

    - Pennzoil-Quaker State European Formula Ultra
    -Quaker State Full Synthetic European Formula Ultra
    -Valvoline Synpower
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    As noted earlier the user's manual for VW was ammended. It is not OK to use 5W30. The oil must meet VW specification 502.00 (if I am not mistaken). Search edmunds and you find link to pdf on VW site.
    All approved oils are synthetic, mostly 5W40 and 0W40.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You wrote:
    The only 5W30 synthetic oils vw recommends:

    - Pennzoil-Quaker State European Formula Ultra
    -Quaker State Full Synthetic European Formula Ultra
    -Valvoline Synpower

    If you check Valvoline's website, you'll find that Synpower 5w-30 (as available in the US and Canada) is NOT 502.00 compliant. Only 5w-40 Synpower is compliant. Also Valvoline MaxLife Synthetic 5w-30 is compliant. VW got it wrong in the sludge letter.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You wrote:
    Also, to get to the oil filter, you'll need to remove the coolant reservoir. You don't need to disconnect it - just unscrew the screws and move it to the side to access the oil filter.

    And I am sure others will reiterate this: Make sure you use a VW oil filter (should be a rather large one) and use 5w40 or 0w40 motor oil. 5w40 is available at NAPA and 0w40 at various places (I know Advance Auto Parts carries it).

    I know when you remove the filter, a lot of oil comes out, so be prepared to soak it up with something. You'll see what I mean when you get it off.

    Couple of alternatives and pointers - As an alternative ot moving the coolant reservoir on the 1.8T, I've seen VW techs at my dealer unscrew the clamp on the air intake hose at the manifold and move it to gain access to the oil filter. It works at least as well as moving the coolant tank, if not better (only one thing to unscrew and you're less likely to lose the hose clamp versus dropping one of the coolant tank screws.

    Another tip I observed at the dealership - the techs use a large plastic cup (like a "big gulp" cup) to capture the oil that leaks when removing the oil filter. They loosen the filter a bit and then place the cup around the filter and then unscrew the filter. Works quite well - virtually no engine clean up required.

    Lastly, for the first time DIY'ers - don't confuse the transmission drain plug with the engine oil drain plug. Don't laugh! I've read it over and over on a few other dedicated Passat forums around the web.
  • mikevfrmikevfr Posts: 1
    Where can I find a fuel door for my 2001.5 Passat GLS. Mine is cracked. Thanks, MK
  • pass4xpass4x Posts: 2
    Hi I also have been reading this and other forums, but only after I bought my Passat 2004.5, 1.8T GLS 4Motion Manual drive. I have more than 9000 miles on this car because I love driving this car instead of the Chrysler T&C which is my second car which has become my secondary car now. I have no issues with this car which I bought end of Sept. 2004, but my issues are with the dealers and sludge build up in the engine. The dealer I bought the car from put regular 5W30 oil and after 5000 miles I took it to another dealer for oil change and they put synthetic according to VW directive but 10W40, I suspect because the car became sluggish until engine warmed up and I was getting less gas mileage. I am going to wait for VW response before taking for next oil change. So if you are looking for a solid fun to drive car you know my answer. I was using a Subaru legacy AWD before and it started showing signs of age so I had to get rid of it.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    I have a better idea...Order the VW 502.00 spec oil yourself and have the dealer put it in (like I do). That way, the dealer has the record of the oil change and you have the proof that a VW Spec oil was used (via your receipts). Make sure the dealer enters the specific type of oil that was used into their maintenance records (just for added insurance).

    The VW 502.00 spec oil that I use for my wife's 2003 Passat GLS 1.8T is Castrol Syntec 5w40. Here's a link to the site where I order it from:

    It goes for $7.15/bottle. Think of it as sludge insurance (or VW warranty insurance). Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands...
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I do the same thing, but I buy my 5w-40 Valvoline Synpower (it's on the 502.00 approved list and the approval is listed on the label) from NAPA auto parts. $4.69 a quart as of last week.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    That's an even better idea... Thanks for the tip...
  • pass4xpass4x Posts: 2
    Thinking of doing the oil change myself, went to VW dealer and got oil filter( asked for oil filter for 2004 passat sedan) part #06A 115 561B. Looking in my car I have part #068 115 561 which is a slightly bigger filter. Which part # you have for the filter. AutoZone nearby have Mobil1 5W30 synthetic.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Make sure you keep every bit of documentation as to type of oil used, mileage intervals, dates, etc., so VWoA can't pull a fast one in case you have any future warranty issues.

    And make sure you change the oil every 5000 miles (and not one mile over) to keep all of your bases covered.
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